Dopamine is a medication form of a substance that occurs naturally in the body. It works by improving the pumping strength of the heart and improves blood flow to the kidneys.
Dopamine injection (Intropin) is used to treat certain conditions, such as low pressure, that occur when you are in shock, which may be caused by heart attack, trauma, surgery, heart failure, kidney failure, and other serious medical conditions.
If possible before you receive dopamine, tell your caregivers if you have pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland).
Also tell your caregivers if you have hardened arteries, circulation problems, diabetes, frostbite, Buergers disease, asthma, sulfite allergy, or a history of blood clots.
Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, especially if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 21 days.
In an emergency situation it may not be possible before you are treated with dopamine to tell your caregivers about your health conditions or if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows that you have received dopamine.
Dopamine injection is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting.
Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when dopamine is injected.
Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, kidney function, and other vital signs will be watched closely while you are receiving dopamine.
To be sure dopamine is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood cells and kidney function may need to be tested often. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor for blood or urine tests.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to dopamine: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Tell your caregivers at once if you suffer a serious side effect from dopamine such as:
- chest pain;
- fast, slow, or pounding heartbeats;
- painful or difficult urination, blood in your urine;
- weakness, confusion, swelling in your feet or ankles, urinating less than usual or not at all;
- weak or shallow breathing;
- feeling like you might pass out, even while lying down;
- burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle;
- cold feeling, numbness, or blue-colored appearance in your hands or feet; or
- darkening or skin changes in your hands or feet.
Less serious dopamine side effects may include:
- feeling anxious;
- nausea, vomiting; or
- chills, goosebumps.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.